How Will Senate Bill 10 Change California’s Cash Bail System?

Picture Of Handcuffed Man

In late August 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill that has overturned California’s historic cash-based bail system. The bill, Senate Bill 10, required state courts to make a “risk based” system to decide who leaves jail, or does not, before trial. According to the bill’s author, State Senator Bob Hertzberg, the purpose of the bill is to look at people as people, and to make a “major step toward fairness…so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly.”

How Will Senate Bill 10 Change California’s Current Bail System?

Currently in California, when someone is arrested, he or she has a legal right to post bail in order to get out of custody before trial, except for specific criminal circumstances. A California bail bondsman can help with that process, which will come with a fee of up to 10 percent. Anyone who fails to show up for court loses their bail money. The bail amounts are decided by state judges in the relevant county, and each crime has its own set bail amount.

Senate Bill 10, which goes into effect October 2019, removes the cash bail system and instead creates a “risk-based” pretrial process on a local level. Each state county will have a local agency that tests an arrested person with felony charges for that person’s chance of voluntarily coming back for court hearings and any probabilities of re-arrests.

If someone’s risk of fleeing is minimal, and they have a low risk to public safety, he or she can be released with the lowest restrictive non-monetary conditions. These conditions could include having a special monitor on the defendant’s ankle or required check-ins with police before trial hearings.

If you have been charged and/or arrested in California, you should speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney who can give you more information on California’s criminal statutes. Contact Garcia, Schnayerson & Thompson today for a free consultation.

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